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Right To Privacy

Data anonymization is hard – this time shown with NYC taxi data

One often hears that some massive collection of data will not have privacy implications because it has been “anonymized”. Any time you hear that, treat the statement with great skepticism. It turns out that effectively anonymizing data, making it impossible to identify the individuals in the data set, is much harder than you might think. [...]

Iran criminalizes Facebook

Iran has taken the next step beyond censorship to criminalize the use of social media, particularly Facebook. Iran has long had one of the most strict and effective Internet censorship regimes, but still huge numbers of Iranians were able to skirt the blocking to access social media websites, generally under false names. Actually criminalizing the [...]

Law enforcement can’t keep your seized files forever (anymore)

The US Second Circuit court of appeals just ruled on a very important case about Fourth Amendment protections for seized computer files. While this ruling is only binding on courts in the 2nd circuit, it will be influential, and we are likely to see this issue addressed by the Supreme Court before too long. The [...]

Mind the gap: Poll finds many Canadian businesses believe privacy is important but not taking basic steps to protect customer information

Ten years after Canada’s private sector privacy law came into full effect, our latest survey has found that many Canadian businesses are still not taking the basic steps necessary to protect the personal information of their customers and clients – despite believing that protecting privacy is “extremely important”. An overwhelming majority of businesses (82%) said [...]

New York Times: The Privacy Paradox, a Challenge for Business

The New York Times reports on a new study concerning privacy sponsored by data-storage company EMC: People around the world are thrilled by the ease and convenience of their smartphones and Internet services, but they aren’t willing to trade their privacy to get more of it. That is the top-line finding of a new study of 15,000 [...]

Specifics on recent Iraq censorship orders

Iraq Telecom Ministry Orders ISPs: Kill The Internet in Five Provinces | SMEX: Channeling Advocacy If this is real, it is an interesting view into the specifics of Internet censorship in Iraq. I find “Block all access to VPN in all Iraq from 4 pm until 7 am on daily basis” particularly interesting. Just trying [...]

A tiny change in iOS 8 prevents WiFi tracking of iOS devices

News just broke of a new feature in iOS 8 announced at Apple’s WWDC which was not covered in the big keynote. Advertisers and retail outlets have been using Wi-Fi to track mobile devices for some time. I talked about a network of Wi-Fi tracking trashcans last year in the podcast. This works because, by default, [...]

Law enforcement access to your cell tower location may require a warrant

A federal appeals court in Atlanta ruled that there is an expectation of privacy in cell tower location information, and therefor it is protected by the Fourth Amendment. This runs counter to other recent rulings that allow access to the information without a warrant under the Stored Communications Act. The recent ruling relies on precedent [...]

Iraq blocking social media as a defense against ISIS

Iraq Crisis: Twitter, Google, YouTube and Facebook Blocked by Government to Stop Isis Plotting Many sources are reporting that most major social networks are being blocked in Iraq. It is generally assumed that this is being done to prevent use of these tools for organization and propaganda by Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS). [...]

Ars tests Internet surveillance—by spying on an NPR reporter | Ars Technica

Ars technica in conjunction with NPR conducted an excellent experiment showing how much and what kind of information can be obtained through capture off the wire. This is the type of information that a national intelligence service would see by tapping into ISPs. They simulated this by using a penetration testing device installed at NPR reporter [...]